The severe consequences of not completing the necessary checks to ensure an employee has the right to work in the UK can be devastating. Penalties for non-compliance can be imposed if employers hire someone without performing the correct checks or if the checks were not done correctly. These fines can reach up to £20,000 for each illegal job, making it essential that employers stay on the right side of immigration regulations and take all necessary steps to ensure their employees have the right to work in the UK. Employers must carry out document checks related to employees' right to work. If these checks are not done correctly, a fine of up to £20,000 per employee can be imposed.
However, there is a defense if employers can show that they have performed certain document checks. It is therefore important that employers do not act hastily when there is a concern that an employee may not have the right to work in the UK. Right to work controls are carried out during the hiring process and apply to all potential employees, regardless of their nationality, race, or ethnicity. Online or digital controls require employers to verify the relevant document or information online and keep a record of the check. To continue with this method, workers must give their consent for employers to carry out the online verification.
Digital checks using IDSPs are currently only available to holders of valid British or Irish passports or Irish passport cards. It is important that initial and follow-up checks on the right to work are carried out in accordance with guidelines issued by the Ministry of the Interior. If an employee's employment contract contains a clause requiring them to demonstrate that they have the right to work in the UK, employers could terminate them without notice for a fundamental breach of a contractual obligation. The Employer Checking Service (ECS) is a free online service from the Ministry of the Interior that allows employers to fulfill their obligation to carry out checks on employees' right to work in circumstances where they cannot use online checks or provide acceptable documentation for manual checks. It is essential to carry out this check once a UK visa and immigration application (UKVI) has been approved. If an employee is still waiting for the Ministry of the Interior to process their application, and this documentation was submitted before their previous license expired, companies can still get a pass at the billing service. Employers also have the option of using technologies such as identity verification and tracking (IDVT) to verify a person's work permit. These right to work checklists detail the types of documents that are acceptable to prove an employee's right to work and for how long the check is valid.
It is essential that employers take all necessary steps to ensure their employees have the right to work in order to avoid hefty fines.